• “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won five awards on Monday night, including best comedy series, and “Game of Thrones” picked up the award for best drama.
• HBO and Netflix tied with 23 Emmys 2018 each. See a full list of winners here.
• Talk of #MeToo was largely absent from this year’s ceremony, with no one mentioning Leslie Moonves from the stage.
• Read our critic’s review of the show, which he said lacked diversity. See red carpet photos.
The dragons held off Netflix.
“Game of Thrones” stormed the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday night, taking home the best drama Emmy for the third time in the past four years and defeating last year’s winner, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Although HBO’s sprawling fantasy closed out its seventh and most recent season 13 months ago, Emmy voters still showered it with awards.
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HBO and Netflix tied for the total number of Emmys won, with 23 awards each, including the statuettes given out at the Creative Emmy Awards earlier this month.
“Game of Thrones” had the biggest haul, with nine total awards, just ahead of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and NBC’s enduring sketch series “Saturday Night Live,” which won eight apiece.
For Netflix, the 2018 Emmys represented a triumph. But the result came as a relief to HBO, which can now say that it has technically finished in first place among all broadcast and cable networks for 17 years running.
The rest of HBO’s awards were spread among several shows in acting categories, including wins for Henry Winkler (“Barry”), Bill Hader (“Barry”), Thandie Newton (“Westworld”) and Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”).
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Dinklage called out the show’s creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, saying: “Thank you Dave and Dan for changing my life. I cannot walk down the street anymore.”
“The Americans,” the FX spy drama that concluded earlier this year, won two awards, including best actor in a drama for Matthew Rhys. The FX drama had won only two Emmys across its previous five seasons, but voters decided to give it some love on its way out, as they had with “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad.”
Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth on “The Crown,” won for best lead actress in a drama, her last chance to win for that role before ceding it to Olivia Colman as the show moves deeper into the 1960s. Earlier this month, “The Crown” won best cast in a drama at the Creative Arts Emmys.
Netflix spent handsomely on Emmy campaigning this year, opening a space in Hollywood to showcase its fare and advertising on billboards along the Sunset Strip. But it wasn’t the only company to hype its wares. So-called For Your Consideration events — panel discussions where voters have access to stars, canapés and booze — filled the schedules of the more than 23,000 members of the Television Academy in the run-up to the ceremony.
Last year, there were 61 academy-sanctioned events in Los Angeles and New York during Emmy campaigning season. This year, that number ballooned to 116, according to a spokesman for the academy.
[Stream these 10 Emmy nominated shows you may not have seen.]
Lorne Michaels and the ‘S.N.L.’ Effect
Lorne Michaels, the 73-year-old impresario behind “Saturday Night Live” and NBC’s late-night lineup, also had a big night. Not only did he leave the Microsoft Theater with the Emmy for best variety sketch series, he also produced the broadcast for NBC. It was his second time at the helm, having last overseen the Emmys broadcast in 1988, when the “Dynasty” star John Forsythe was the host.
NBC hoped that the hosts, Colin Jost and Michael Che, the anchors of Weekend Update on “S.N.L.,” would help reverse a trend of plummeting awards show ratings.
In addition to giving the hosting job to Mr. Jost and Mr. Che, Mr. Michaels recruited a number of current and former “S.N.L.” cast members. The show began with a satirical musical number on Hollywood’s diversity problem, led by two stalwarts of the show, Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon.
Yup, we solved it!” Mr. Thompson exclaimed.
Andy Samberg and RuPaul joined in, along with a group of Broadway-style hoofers identified as the One of Each Dancers.
Mr. Che and Mr. Jost followed the musical segment. In their opening remarks, they made only veiled references to the Trump presidency, which had been a staple of onstage remarks at the last Emmys ceremony, and to the #MeToo movement.
In a taped segment midway through the broadcast, the show returned to diversity as a theme, with Mr. Che handing out “reparations Emmys” to black actors from past shows, including Jimmie Walker and John Witherspoon.
The focus on diversity became ironic as the night wore on, with one white person after another delivering acceptance speeches. Before the ceremony was done, there were victories for African-American actors and performers — Regina King, for the Netflix limited series “Seven Seconds”; Thandie Newton, for her work on HBO’s “Westworld”; and an Emmy for RuPaul, of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — but the great majority of winners did not reflect the night’s theme.
The “S.N.L.” influence held fast throughout the night, with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, stars of a new Amazon show, “Forever,” appearing in a series of awkward-on-purpose sketches and an out-of-breath Will Ferrell presenting the final award.
In a way, it was surprising to see the New York-based “S.N.L.” front and center at the Emmys. The Television Academy, the main body behind the awards, has looked askance at the show for most of its 43-year run. But that has changed, with “S.N.L.” having won half of its 62 Emmys in the past five years.
For all of Mr. Michaels’s efforts to showcase performers he has worked with, perhaps the show’s most memorable moment came thanks to Glenn Weiss, the director of the 2018 Oscars broadcast. Mr. Weiss, who won in the category of best director for a variety special, proposed to his girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, from the stage. (She said yes.)
‘Mrs. Maisel’ wins big in comedy
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino about a housewife who tries her luck as a comedian in 1950s New York, had a big night, taking five awards, including best comedy series.
It was the first time Amazon had won a top show award at the Emmys, and the first time a streaming service had taken the best comedy award.
Rachel Brosnahan, who plays the show’s title character, won for best actress in a comedy, the first new winner in that category in seven years. (With HBO’s “Veep” sidelined this year, Julia Louis-Dreyfus hit the pause button on her record-breaking Emmy run.) Ms. Sherman-Palladino won for directing and writing, in addition to the best comedy series award. And Alex Borstein, who plays Mrs. Maisel’s manager, took the award for best supporting actress.
The triumph of “Mrs. Maisel” was a blow to the avant-garde FX comedy “Atlanta,” a critical favorite. Donald Glover, the show’s star and creator, took the prize for best actor in a comedy last year. This time, he lost out to Mr. Hader, who plays a hit man trying to make it as an actor in “Barry.”
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